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World War One: A Short Historyby Norman Stone
Synopses & Reviews
In 1914, a new kind of war came about, bringing with it a new kind of world. World War One began on horseback, with generals employing bayonet charges to gain ground, and ended with attacks resembling the Nazi blitzkriegs. The scale of devastation was unlike anything the world had seen before: Fourteen million combatants died, a further twenty million were wounded, and four empires were destroyed. Even the victors empires were fatally damaged.
An overwhelming disaster from which the world is still recovering, World War One can seem baffling in its complexity. But now Norman Stone, one of worlds greatest military historians, has composed a dazzlingly lucid and succinct history of the conflict. Stone has distilled a lifetime of teaching, arguing, and thinking into this brisk and opinionated account of the fundamental tragedy of the twentieth century.
"Stone is as unconventional as he is brilliant, and this provocative interpretation of the Great War combines impressive command of the literature with a telling eye for relevant facts and a sensitive ear for telling epigrams. Stone presents a Europe that in 1914 bestrode the world like the proverbial colossus. Four years later, the continent faced a spectrum of disasters: shattered economies, shattered societies, shattered lives and shattered illusions. Stone demonstrates the contingent nature of the war's outbreak and analyzes the continued failure to achieve decision on the Western Front until 1917. Stone specializes in Great War Russia, does a first-rate job of presenting the consequences of the collapse of four empires: Hapsburg, German, tsarist and Ottoman. He challenges current interpretations of the postwar treaties, presenting them as a list of failures. The attempt to integrate the world economy collapsed. The postwar expansion of colonial empires proved ephemeral. The League of Nations 'declined into irrelevance.' Stone reserves his harshest criticism for the punitive terms imposed on a Germany convinced neither of its defeat nor the injustice of its cause. That, he asserts convincingly, laid the groundwork for a second, more terrible conflict. Photos, maps." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
An eminent historian distills the War to End All Wars into a concise and brilliant single volume
The First World War was the overwhelming disaster from which everything else in the twentieth century stemmed. Fourteen million combatants died, four empires were destroyed, and even the victors empires were fatally damaged. World War I took humanity from the nineteenth century forcibly into the twentieth—and then, at Versailles, cast Europe on the path to World War II as well.
In World War One, Norman Stone, one of the worlds greatest historians, has achieved the almost impossible task of writing a terse and witty short history of the war. A captivating, brisk narrative, World War One is Stones masterful effort to make sense of one of the twentieth centurys pivotal conflicts.
About the Author
Norman Stone has taught at universities in Britain and Turkey. He was Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford from 1984 to 1997 and is currently Professor of History at Bilkent University. His books include The Eastern Front 19141917, which won the Wolfson Prize, and Europe Transformed. He lives in Ankara, Istanbul, and Oxford.
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